Beat March Break Monotony and Boredom: at Home

Edited by Sarah Maloney, Eng

Whether you've taken time off this March Break to spend some quality time with the kids, are working from home or are just presented with kids that would be in school but aren't, March Break can be a bit daunting. Given that March Break doesn't happen in the middle of the July warmth with amusement parks, festivals, visits to the park, splash pads, outdoor pools and barbeques your options might be more limited. It's a tough week to find entertaining options. It's cold, it's wet, it's windy and really, you don't want to go out.

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There are options in the summer. You can throw the kids out in their bathing suits to play in the sprinkler or hit the park, you can hit to community pool or splashpad, you can visit the farmers market, you can make a road trip and wander through the summer sun, you can hit the beach or just have a picnic. But during March Break. Ugh. And although you can do some excursions out of the house and around your community Beat March Break Monotony and Boredom: Out and About at some point you might find yourself in the house. Alone. With the kids. And like a Stephen King novel you have no idea who's going to break first or what they're going to do.

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If you're looking for some boredom busting ideas to banish cabin fever this article will give you some ideas for indoor fun when you're stuck inside.

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Activities

  1. 1
    Build a Fort
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    Remember Abed's epic pillow fort Pillowtown in NBC's Community? I am a grown woman in my late thirties and every time I see that episode I am in complete awe and mentally start counting all the pillows and cushions in my house. Pillow forts can be made with pillows and cushions while a blanket fort can be made with a couple chairs and light blankets or sheets. Let the kids know what materials they can use and then watch them build. You will be amazed at what they come up with. Keep in mind, they may want to keep the fort up so choose an area that having an epic blanket fort won't make you nutty.
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  2. 2
    Indoor Campsite
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    We have a tent set up downstairs permanently. If you've got a tent, and a couple sleeping bags set it up somewhere and have indoor camping.
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    1. You can tell stories, play cards, read.
    2. Make smores in the kitchen and bring them to the campsite for a snack.
    3. If you have camping lanterns and flashlights this is an excellent activity for after dark. Let the kids fall asleep in their tents.
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  3. 3
    Games
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    We had a Monopoly game set up for 2 weeks. My son is great at math and we discovered he's a bit of a real estate tycoon (I lost. Horribly). It was a lot of one on one time and being able to stop the game whenever we felt like it and go back to it kept frustrations low.
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    1. Choose games that match with your kids interests.
    2. If you can, set up a designated area so games can stay out. When you sense frustrations mounting, stop the game.
    3. Decide on how closely you are following the rules. Then keep that consistent.
    4. Not all board games are passive sit down games. There are a lot that have active elements.
    5. The classic games are still some of the best. Introduce your kids to Scrabble, Monopoly or Battleship. All of these games also have some educational element to them.
    6. If you have a Wii or PlayStation consider family games. We have epic Guitar Hero battles together.
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  4. 4
    Computer
    .
    I know, you are intent on not having automaton kids sitting in the basement in front of a screen all March Break BUT if you're kids are into iPads or computers, you might find screen time tolerable. And if you mix the screen time offerings your kids might even learn something.  
    1. Minecraft, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Scrap Mechanic, Lego Worlds, Terraria. My son has been deeply engrossed in Minecraft for years. I can't say I fully understand it but I can say that some of the structures he builds are epic. He has made similar projects in Roller Coaster Tycoon that are just unbelievable. There is architectural and imaginative skills at play here. Have a look and see if there are any both you and the kids can approve.
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    2. YouTube Kids. Once you're comfortable with the access level you want to give your kids consider teaching them how to make, edit and post videos.
    3. Typing. When I was a kid I had this little typing computer that I was obsessed with and today I'm pretty good at hitting these little keys.
    4. Blogging. For kids that like to write, set them up with a blog from a blogger site.
    5. Games. There are a lot of free games particularly for the iPad. Have a look and consider some of the games.
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  5. 5
    Indoor Olympics
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    Set up various sports around the house, give points for each successful completion or winner and hand out medals at the end.  
    1. Games can be simple such as carry the egg on a spoon, spin yourself on the end of a bat and then try to complete a task, indoor mini hockey, balance beam. Do some research online, you'd be surprised the games you can come up with.
    2. Make medals out of soup can lids or paper cut into circles and covered with foil.
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  6. 6
    Crafts
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    Have a look online and choose some crafts.
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    If you've got some Borax and glue around the house check out my articles on Make Slime with Borax, Make Bouncy Ball Paint Art, Make A Giant Bouncy Ball Using Silly Putty. There are millions of crafts out there, choose some with materials you already have at home.
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  7. 7
    Indoor Picnic
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    Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic and eat on the floor.
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  8. 8
    Cooking
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    Choose something you all like but that kids can help make. Baking bread is a hit in my house but simple recipes like pizza, mac and cheese, soup, spaghetti, most kids love cooking.
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  9. 9
    Restaurant
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    Allow kids to make their own menus (choosing from a list of foods you give them) and provide lunch or dinner from the menu.
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  10. 10
    Books and Movies
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    There is nothing I love more than a cold dark afternoon spent curled up with a book. Take a trip to the library and have each kid choose a book are two. You can also grab a couple movies while you're there. Have quiet reading during the day and a movie night complete with popcorn before bed.
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  11. 11
    Hang out
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    There is so much to be said for just hanging out. Sitting around in your comfy pants reading or watching movies, playing cards or board games. Try not to plan an afternoon and just see where it takes you. It's a great recharge and sometimes the greatest quality afternoons are made during these hang outs.
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Tips

  • Choose Wisely. What are your kids into? Crafts? Cars? Computers? Music? Cooking? Whatever they are interested in choose activities that align with their interest. If they aren't interested they're aren't going to be engaged.
  • Leave them Alone. You don't have to spend every minute with your kids planning and programming. There is nothing wrong with telling them to 'go find something to do.' Often times when you leave them alone the stuff they create or build is some of the best.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Holidays & Traditions

Recent edits by: Sarah Maloney

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